Even 43 unforced errors did not deter Lesia Tsurenko’s path to her second consecutive title at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel as she prevailed in a marathon and thrilling final over the surprise package in world number 183 Stefanie Voegele, who put up an excellent display throughout the week to reach her first-ever tour-level final.
It seemed like Voegele was going to triumph in this encounter after leading by a set and a break, though the nerves affected her greatly as Tsurenko took full advantage, ultimately claiming the victory after two hours and 44-minutes to extend her perfect record in finals to 4-0.
Voegele edges towards the huge upset
It was a decent start to the match for both players, with neither looking to concede the early deficit having been high on confidence recently. Tsurenko came into the encounter knowing that a win would push her to a second consecutive title in Acapulco, while Voegele had absolutely nothing to lose considering this was her maiden WTA final at the age of 27, marking a new chapter in her career.
World-class defensive skills and a fantastic lob then helped Tsurenko grab the opening break in the fifth game, but she was unable to capitalize as Voegele came back roaring, with the seventh seed started to hand out free points with her overwhelming errors. A string of service holds followed, before Tsurenko served to stay in the set at 5-6 down. A lower back problem seemed to be affecting the world number 40, and astonishingly, she threw in four consecutive double-faults to gift Voegele the first set 7-5 after 55 minutes of play.
Tsurenko fights back from the brink
Solid baseline work allowed Tsurenko to start the second set on a high note -- grabbing the break in the first game. However, her joy was short-lived as Voegele started to dominate proceedings at the net, returning level at the first time of asking. Fans were treated to several outstanding marathon rallies, and Tsurenko continued to dig for breakthroughs while Voegele fought to keep her lead.
The Ukrainian often went for the down-the-line shots but often failed to execute them well as yet another error put her in huge danger. Voegele went up a break in the second set, being just two games away from victory. Another shift of momentum ensued, with Tsurenko regaining her composure to earn a 5-4 lead.
Although she was unable to serve out the set, Tsurenko displayed great mental strength with a terrific and calm hold when being just three points away from defeat, sending the set into a tiebreak. Surprisingly, it was a one-sided affair as Voegele totally lost the plot, falling 2-7 which meant that the championship match will go the distance.
Tsurenko extends winning streak in Acapulco to 10 matches
Within a blink of an eye, Tsurenko rode on her momentum and rattled off 12 of the first 15 points of the deciding set to have a commanding 3-0 lead. The match seemed to be completely over, but Voegele had other ideas and she started to put up a tough fight and impressively fended off five break points in the fourth game to get on board.
The improbable comeback looked possible now, with Voegele grabbing the break to return level. Close games followed, but Tsurenko was clinical on the crucial points as the Swiss soon found herself 2-5 down. Wasting a break point in the seventh game which could have seen her roar back into contention, the miss proved to be costly as the world number 183 ultimately ran out of steam, getting broken to love for Tsurenko to claim her second Acapulco title.